RESOLUTION NO. R-111-04
WHEREAS, the protection of civil rights and civil liberties is essential to the well-being of a free and democratic society; and
WHEREAS, the men and women in the United States Armed Forces are bravely serving around the world defending our freedoms; and
WHEREAS, law enforcement officials at every level of government work hard to defend us at home; and
WHEREAS, the members of the Unified Government Board of Commissioners believe there is no inherent conflict between national security and the preservation of liberty and Americans can be both safe and free; and
WHEREAS, government security measures that undermine fundamental rights do damage to the American institutions and values that the residents of Kansas City, Kansas, and Wyandotte County hold dear; and
WHEREAS, federal, state, and local governments should protect the public from terrorist attacks, such as those that occurred on September 11, 2001, but should do so in a rational and deliberative fashion in order to ensure that security measures enhance public safety without impairing constitutional rights or infringing on civil liberties; and
WHEREAS, these new policies include granting law enforcement and intelligence agencies broad access to personal, medical, business, library, and education records with little if any judicial oversight; limitations on the traditional authority of federal courts to curb law enforcement abuses of electronic surveillance in anti-terrorism investigations and ordinary criminal investigations; the power to authorize the indefinite incarceration of non-citizens based on mere suspicion of terrorist activity without access to counsel or meaningful recourse to the federal courts; the expansion of the authority of federal agents to conduct so-called ""sneak and peek"" or ""black bag"" searches in which the subject of the search warrant is unaware that his property has been searched; and
WHEREAS, the City of Kansas City, Kansas, and Wyandotte County have a diverse population, including immigrants and students, representing many cultures and nationalities, including non-citizens, whose contributions to the County are vital to its economy, culture, and civic character; and
WHEREAS, the Unified Government Board of Commissioners wishes to proclaim its commitment to the guarantees of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Kansas and to state its opposition to anything which undermines those guarantees,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF
COMMISSIONERS OF THE UNIFIED GOVERNMENT OF WYANDOTTE
COUNTY/KANSAS CITY, KANSAS:
1. That the Unified Government has been and remains firmly committed to the protection of civil rights and liberties for all people including citizens and non-citizens alike.
2. That the Unified Government respects and values public safety intelligence gathering as an indispensable part of law enforcement and of national security, but intends that the methods of gathering information be in strict compliance with the protections for individual liberty provided for in the United States Constitution and the Kansas Constitution.
3. That the Unified Government Commission commends the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department and the Wyandotte County Sheriffs Department for continuing the tradition of respecting citizens' rights to due process and upholding the standards of probable cause,
4. That the Unified Government affirms its commitment to unbiased policing and endorses the principle that no law enforcement official or agency may profile or discriminate against, apprehend, question, or detain any person on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age, ancestry, sexual orientation, or disability.
ADOPTED BY THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE UNIFIED GOVERNMENT OF WYANDOTTE COUNTY/KANSAS CITY, KANSAS, THIS 4th DAY OF NOVEMBER 2004.
Unified Government Clerk